Physician Wellness

Physician Wellness

Free teletherapy for MSSC members

MSSC cares about the wellbeing of its members. That’s why it partnered with Frontline Therapy Network to offer teletherapy services to physicians. MSSC members can receive up to six free, confidential teletherapy sessions with a vetted therapist.

Here a link to an information sheet: Frontline Therapy Network

Physicians who are interested in teletherapy can complete a Teletherapy Application. A psychotherapist will respond, usually the same business day, and conduct a basic assessment in order to connect the physician with the network therapist most ideal to support his or her needs.

Other resources

The Kansas Medical Society offers an extensive Professionals’ Health Program. Learn more at

Additional resources are available through organizations such as the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (call or text 988), the Physician Support Line (1-888-409-0141), the Sedgwick County Community Crisis Center (call 316-660-7500), Mental Health America of South Central Kansas, the Therapy Aid Coalition, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Look out for each other

Physicians and trainees can be reluctant to seek mental health treatment. As a result, it is critical that colleagues look out for each other and intervene when needed.

Pay attention if another physician talks about being a burden, feeling trapped, or feeling hopeless or helpless. Behavioral warning signs include using alcohol or drugs more often, acting recklessly or aggressively, and withdrawing from activities and loved ones. Mood warning signs are depression, loss of interest, rage or anger, irritability, humiliation or anxiety.

If a physician is concerned about a colleague, reach out and ask how the person is doing. Don’t assume that someone else will or has already done that. Also don’t assume that accomplished peers never struggle.

It can be valuable to prepare for such a conversation. Tips on finding the right time and choosing the right words are available on the National Physician Suicide Awareness Day website. A study published in the Journal of The Association of American Medical Colleges also advised stating the obvious when visiting with distressed colleagues: that you respect them; think well of them for getting help; that you are willing to help them connect with treatment; that you will continue to be there for them.

To help mitigate burnout, which can lead to depression and suicidal ideation, medical systems should support physicians by providing adequate staffing and other resources, reducing administrative burdens and the emphasis on productivity targets, and both encouraging and enabling self-care.

Information on stress and burnout

Measuring and addressing physician burnout – AMA resource page

Physician Well-being – Tools for evaluating burnout and well-being, with concrete approaches to enhance physician wellness

Burnout common in med school and residency” – KUSM-W research

KU mindfulness program” – Brief mindfulness-based techniques

The Mindful MD Mom – A platform to share stories and experiences

Addressing Health Worker Burnout” – U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory on building a thriving health workforce

You Can Be a Happy MD – “Physician Burnout or Moral Injury, What Difference Does it Make?”

The Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI) – Education and support for health professionals who aspire to bring their hearts into their work

UMass Center for Mindfulness – Learn mindfulness skills